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Friday, February 5, 2016
"As Obedient Children"
Message Summary: We are not to conform to these evil desires. As sojourners in this world we must daily make the conscious, volitional choice to refuse an alien society which is futile and passing away, while also attempting to squeeze us into its wicked, corrupting mold.
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"As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance" (1 Peter 1:14).
Yesterday we ate breakfast at the Shady Maple, a huge smorgasbord restaurant rather famous in our area. While eating we visited for a few minutes with Heidi, one of the servers. We know her mom, Jody, so we always look up Heidi whenever we visit the Shady Maple. During our visit I asked Heidi if she had any siblings and she told us she had a twin sister who died shortly after her birth weighing only 1 pound 5 oz.
Heidi weighed only 1 pound 15 oz. at birth so she and her family have had some major overcoming during that critical period. For the past year or so she has held this job at Shady Maple. Brooksyne remembers well praying for Heidi to find a job since Jody had enlisted her to pray that the Lord would provide work and it took quite a while to land this job. Jody works at one of the companies that we regularly visit. Much like her mother, Heidi has a very pleasant disposition and a positive outlook. Her parents have been very supportive and I commended Heidi for honoring them reminding her of the blessing of obedient children.
One of the great joys of life is when our children do well. If they are taught obedience while little it goes a long ways toward getting along well in life. Of course the greatest form of obedience is directed toward God. We have a local friend who shared with me the many generations his family has served the Lord and today each of his four children and their spouses walk with the Lord. In fact Brooksyne now teaches one of his grandchildren in Sunday School.
But I also consider the heartache a disobedient child brings, whether as a youngster still at home or even more acutely as an adult who chooses the way of rebellion. Through our years of ministry we have often provided support and encouragement to parents with disobedient children, as most all pastors have. Proverbs 10:1 says, "A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother."
In today's Scripture text Peter uses a family theme that his readers will identify with in one way or another. He is speaking of our obedience to our heavenly Father as obedient children. John 1:12 teaches that all of us who have received and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ become children of God.
Obedience means one listens to and follows instructions and is in the state of being in compliance. A.W. Tozer characterizes godly obedience well when he says that, "The Bible recognizes no faith that does not lead to obedience, nor does it recognize any obedience that does not spring from faith. The two are opposite sides of the same coin."
Spurgeon wrote that faith and obedience are bound up in the same bundle. He who obeys God, trusts God; and he who trusts God, obeys God. Peter compares believers to children who obey their parents, using the phrase "obedient children" to introduce the concept of holiness; obedience and holiness being two sides of the same coin.
As obedient children we are not to conform to the evil desires we once had when we lived in ignorance. Some readers were raised in godly families and at an early age turned to the Lord. But other readers have had essentially no Christian upbringing and especially identify with the phrase "lived in ignorance". Due to the darkness of our generation, if the church is to grow, more and more will fall into this category.
We are not to conform to these evil desires. As sojourners in this world we must daily make the conscious, volitional choice to refuse an alien society which is futile and passing away, while also attempting to squeeze us into its wicked, corrupting mold.
Romans 12:2 has a similar theme, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will." Today let us seek to be obedient children that bring great joy to our heavenly Father!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, as we fully surrender our hearts to You we will no longer conform to the pattern of this world, but we will be transformed because our minds are being renewed by Your Spirit daily. Though we may be rejected by the world we have been chosen by You. Like living stones You are building us into a spiritual house where Jesus is the precious cornerstone. Because of that we are a strong foundation that can withstand the forces of evil as we declare the praises of Him who called us out of darkness and enables us to live as aliens and strangers in this evil world as we abstain from sinful desires. Amen.
In our lead photo today Heidi is standing in front of some unique artwork at the Shady Maple.
The Shady Maple is a huge restaurant well known in these parts.
The Buffet line is 200 feet long!
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Trust and Obey" Video Acapella
"Where He Leads Me I Will Follow/I'll Say Yes" Video Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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